Swansea Bay City Region submits Internet Coast City Deal bid in excess of £500m to UK and Welsh Governments
The Swansea Bay City Region has submitted a ground-breaking ‘Internet Coast’ City Deal bid, in excess of £500m over 20 years, to the UK and Welsh Governments.
The aim is to address the integrated universal themes and challenges of energy, health and well-being and economic acceleration by harnessing the transformational power of digital networks and the asset base of Swansea Bay.
The Swansea Bay City Region encompasses the four local authority areas of Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.
It is estimated that the City Deal investment could lever in total around £3.3bn of output and £1.3bn of gross value added for Wales, while supporting around 39,000 jobs in the region.
Chair of the Swansea Bay City Region Board Sir Terry Matthews said: “Swansea Bay became world famous in ‘the first machine age’. We aim to re-energise a vibrant and pioneering role in Wales and the UK as the world now enters ‘a new digital machine age.’
“There are echoes of the Industrial Revolution in this vision and I am pleased to be leading the region as we aim for a new place in the global economy. I can clearly see a Swansea Bay that is globally recognised for innovation and economic acceleration once again, ideally located on ‘a digital super highway connecting the UK and North America – London and New York.
“Think of the way the internet and broadband networks have transformed communications worldwide. Now imagine the same principle applied to future energy systems, to health and well-being and any number of other sectors. It is a massive opportunity and with City Deal support we can take a lead position in Wales and make our wider contribution to the UK and to Europe.”
“In my letter to the Chancellor I have described the widest possible regional public sector commitment to this City Deal bid as ‘a leap of faith’ that has immense value. I sincerely hope that the bold vision and support is recognised by Government in Westminster and Cardiff Bay.
“I know also that there are many private sector partners, here in Swansea Bay, across Wales and the UK and around the world who are enthused by our ‘leap of logic’.
“We need to incubate, launch and grow an ecosystem of new, successful and fast growing companies here in Swansea Bay. With the clarity, direction and impetus that a City Deal can provide just watch us ‘move that needle’ to a higher level of growth”
Responding to the launch of the City Deal bid, Councillor Jamie Adams, Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council said: “The focus of the City Deal on future energy systems provides an important impetus to the vitally important energy sector in Pembrokeshire.
“It offers a competitive environment for the industry to thrive in the Milford Haven Enterprise Zone and elsewhere. The City Deal bid is therefore built upon strong foundations in this regard.”
Nick Revell, managing director of Pembroke Dock-based Ledwood Mechanical Engineering Limited who is also a Swansea Bay City Region board member, said: “Working with our universities and colleges, the region provides significant research and development capacity to grow the region into a global centre for renewable energy”.
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